Do Injuries actually get better on their own?

I had a comment on a Facebook post this morning about injuries getting better on their own.

And although this does apply it is not the whole story.

I apply common sense and logic to these kinds of situations and ask "what would your body do in this situation?"

Worst case scenario

Lets say you get a simple injury like a sprained ankle.

X-ray, Ankle

It swells up a bit but you have had it before and know it will go away in week or two. It's a bit painful to walk normally so you change how you walk (often unconsciously) so that you can walk without aggravating it. After a few weeks the pain has gone and everything has seemingly returned to normal. What you can't see is that your body has made a permanent adaption and now you walk ever so slightly differently.

The pin from the sprained ankle is gone but now you are using muscle is an adapted way that is applying more pressure and stress where it shouldn't be.


6 months later, you, out of the blue, develop knee pain. No rhyme or reason for it.

You rest it, ice it, take it easy on any exercise, again, eventually the pain goes away after a few weeks.

You assume that it is fixed - whatever it was.

Now you have adapted again - different muscles are now strained in a way that they shouldn't be. In a year or 2 you wake up with neck and shoulder pain - you think back to what you did the day before and put it down to the heavy DIY and gardening you did over the weekend. You take some over the counter pain relief medication but it doesn't help. After a week or so you book in with your GP for assessment. You get some stronger pain relief medication. This helps for a while, things start to get better and it comes back again. This time you haven't got the excuse of DIY and gardening, nothing out of the ordinary. You go back to your GP with the same complaint, explain what has happened and get referred to Physio. At this point I won't go into how long it takes to get a Physio appointment but it might take months. Anyway, you see the Physio, they perform their assessments and you get some stretches and exercises for your neck and shoulder. Again, these help for a while but progress is slow, the exercises take ages and you're supposed to do them 4 x per day. Maybe the problem goes away again for a while. But a few months later it returns. You remember the physio exercises and do them again but this time they are no use. You get another appointment with your GP and they refer you for a scan of some kind.


The scan shows nothing that would explain your symptoms. You are referred back to physio and get some different exercises and perhaps some more pain killers from your GP. By this time you have been in and out of pain for 2 - 3 years with no known cause. Now all you can do seemingly is keeping running through the mill of consultant after consultant trying to find an answer to your problem - this may then drag on for another few months or even years. Potentially a lifetime of pain and medication to try and control it.


What if you are only 40 when this happens? Average life expectancy is currently about 82 years. What if you have a young family and you can't play with your children as you would like to. What if you can't hold down your job and you are the main earner?

This is a pretty bad scenario but it happens - I hear it regularly. What if you're looking in the wrong place? What if the current problem is a result of an old injury? I'm not saying that I am the perfect therapist for you. But the goal I have in each session is to look for the cause of pain rather than looking at the symptoms. This may include looking at nutrition, habits, lifestyle as well as hands on treatment. You can't fix one part in isolation, your body is ONE THING it needs to be treated as that. If the compensation patterns still exists then only addressing the painful part will simply cover up the symptoms until the problem rears its head again. Get my book on health Apply for an initial consultation Return to main website

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